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SAMMY HAGAR / RED VOODOO
LABEL: MCA RECORDS TRKD-11872
OVERALL: 91%
Produced by: Sammy Hagar & Jesse Harms
  1. Mas Tequila
  2. Shag
  3. Sympathy For The Human
  4. Red Voodoo
  5. Lay Your Hand On Me
  6. High And Dry Again
  7. The Revival
  8. Don't Fight It (Feel It)
  9. The Love
  10. Right On Right
  11. Returning Of The Wish
Sammy's back! And this time he is rocking!
Yes, post Van Halen Sammy is in quite an inspiration spell as he churns out almost a dozen new tunes only 18 months since Marching To Mars.
MTM was obviously the opening of a new chapter for Sammy and was mostly an album of reflection and a little of anger at the events that preceded it's recording.
The album was certainly as diverse as it was musically matured and challenging.
But on a few tracks I think Sammy failed to hit the mark. Certainly some Van Hagar fans were left wondering where the big anthems were, although response overall to the album was positive.
So with post VH album number 2 and on the back of a very successful tour with his permanent band the Waboritas, Sammy has presented an album of much happier tunes and is definitely in party mode.
This album is stronger, rawer and heavier than Marching To Mars and I think more enjoyable. Mas Tequila is a silly sort of song, using Gary Glitter's Rock N Roll riff to carve out a party anthem in honor of Sammy's new brand of tequila. It's a good fun track, but not one to take seriously.
Nor is track two - Shag! Yep, you guessed the subject matter. The tune is another tongue in cheek party rocker and is as raw & live as they come. If you don't get the joke, keep listening!
Sympathy For The Human is the first serious track of the album and marks the change in feel. Sammy sings of religion and redemption in a solid hard rocker that will go down very well live.
Red Voodoo is a cool fast paced acoustic driven rocker with heaps of organ and the feel of an old fashioned rock n roll song. Good fun.
Lay Your Hand On Me is the first ballad of the album. It starts as an acoustic ballad with only Sammy's vocals and builds to a big rock track before dropping back to a soft acoustic finish. Great vocal from Sammy and once again a raw and live feel to it.
High And Dry Again was previewed on Sammy's mini Australian tour last year. Organs and guitars drive this mid paced tune until it hits the chorus where it goes into rock over drive. Great anthem rocker. The fell of it and the guitar sound reminds me of the VOA album.
The Revival is a hard rocker with a modern feel. No real big chorus, but some cool backing vocals and a different sounds from Sammy.
Don't Fight It (Feel It) is a big blues rock track. Plenty of that southern blues boogie and that honky tonk Piano. Adding to the feel is an appearance by the Tower Of Power horns and guitarist Roy Rogers.
The Love is classic Sammy Hagar. A big guitar hook leads the track in and from that point you know it's going to be a classic. Big vocals, melodies and an upbeat chorus make this one of my favourite tunes on the album. It is also very commercial, making it a good choice for a single there somewhere.
Right On Right has a mock live intro that gives way to a hard rock track with some of the best and heaviest guitar riff's I have heard from Sammy for ages.
The track softens briefly for part of the verse, but rocks hard after that. Good live track.
Returning Of The Wish has a moody and mystical intro until acoustic guitars and Sammy's vocals take over. A wondeful heartfelt ballad that rocks in places, but stays loyal to the songs meaning. Another possible single and great way to finish the album.
Red Voodoo is a great album with a more consistent feel to it than Marching To Mars and a more solid rock approach.
Sammy's vocals are in fine form, there is a healthy does of keyboard and especially organ throughout from Jesse Harms, Victor Johnson's guitar playing is fabulous - although it is hard sometimes to tell if it is him or Sammy delivering the goods and the rhythm section of David Lauser and Mona (scary bird - awesome bass player!!) are as tight as could be expected.
Most of the tunes were written quickly and parts of the original home demo's are kept in all the songs. It gives the album a neat vibe and an earthy, raw and live feel that suits Sammy down to the ground.
If you like Marching To Mars, you will love this. If you are a general Sammy or Van Halen fan then this will be much loved.
Once again, Sammy proves he is the master songwriter, leaving Eddie Van Halen to ponder how he can get Sammy back. Aside from maybe some not digging the first two tracks, there is no fault to pick here. Get it!
PRODUCTION: 88%SONGS: 90%VIBE: 93%ATTITUDE: 92%
ESSENTIAL FOR: All Sammy Hagar fans and many Van Halen and good hard rock fans.



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